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The Daily Dish Dancing Queens

The Rules, Costs, and Everything Else to Know About Hairstyles and Costumes in Ballroom Dancing

Fashion and style are just as crucial in the competitive world of ballroom dancing as the fancy footwork itself, as seen on Dancing Queens.

By Jax Miller
RHONJ's Dolores Catania and Margaret Josephs Love That the Dancing Queens "Bring the Drama"

Ballroom dancing is all the rage, and much of it has to do with the women's on-point (and en pointe) style, as seen on Dancing Queens.

How to Watch

Watch Dancing Queens on Peacock and the Bravo app.    

The Daily Dish previously looked at the staggering costs of the pageantry involved in ballroom dancing, including hundreds of dollars spent on visits to the salon chair and thousands spent on tailored ballroom dance attire. Dancing shoes, tanning services, and added bling can also be factored into the final costs, which amass to about six figures per year.

Dancing Queens' Leonie Biggs and Donie Burch spoke of the work entailed in keeping up with ballroom fashion during the series premiere, with Leonie saying they were “like drag queens trapped in a female body.”

RELATED: Wait, How Much Did It Cost Leonie Biggs to Meet with Karina Smirnoff on Dancing Queens?

“It’s a complete transformation,” said cast member Sabrina Strasser. “You get to be a princess for a day.”

What Are the Required Hairstyles in Ballroom Dancing?

Hours before each competition, the ladies of Dancing Queens meet with hair and makeup guru Boyko Ivanov of Boyko & Co. and his team of professionals. Boyko, whom Sabrina refers to as the “god of hair and makeup in ballroom,” comes in high demand.

“Boyko is so packed that some women get up at, like, 3 in the morning to get their hair done,” said Donie. “Because that’s your last chance.”

Leonie added that Boyko was like Grand Central Station: “Everyone’s gotta go through him.”

Colette Marotto said she goes into Boyko’s station – typically set up in one of the hotel or convention rooms where the competitions take place – feeling like a “tired, middle-aged mom” and comes out feeling like “an empress.”

The hair must then be “plastered” onto the dancer’s head, while enough hairspray is used that, according to Colette, it could “deplete the ozone layer.”

RELATED: Yes, Dancing Queens' Gaëlle Benchetrit Lives at One of the Most Expensive Addresses in America

Boyko’s high-profile clientele within the ballroom dancing universe includes professional dancers Yuliya Zagoruychenko (whom you can read more about here), Katusha Demidova, and Carmen, according to Boyko’s website.

What Are the Costumes in Ballroom Dancing?

Of course, like Latin ballroom dancing, the look itself is intended to bring drama and flair, which is precisely why the dress is everything, according to some of the women. Crystals, rhinestones, feathers, and fringe are all part of the costume — pubic wigs not included (sorry, Boyko).

According to Leonie, people could walk into the competition and mistake the event for Mardi Gras on account of the extravagant attire.

“Ballroom dancing is a very expensive sport, but we have to look the part,” said Sabrina.

During Episode 3 of Dancing Queens, Sabrina, Donie, and Colette, as well as Gaëlle Benchetrit and Pooja Mehta, prepared for the New Orleans Open. However, Leonie wanted to try a smaller competition with her new pro dancing partner, Koysta, at the American Star Ball in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“It’s gonna be a different look for every comp,” said Sabrina. “It can really make or break the competition. If you feel sexy, you will dance sexy.”

RELATED: "Stab Them with a Heel in Both Eyes": The Dancing Queens Cast Teases Show's Drama

Leonie took a trip to the Catherine Rose dancewear company, where owners Kirtsen and Zac created a beautiful silver ensemble based on Leonie’s mood boards. As she channeled her inner Cleopatra, Leonie said mood boards were important for planning the perfect look.

“The mood boards are really around how I want to feel or how I want to characterize myself,” said Leonie. “It gives me that margin of safety, so I can’t be disappointed.”

Leonie compared getting a dance dress — fittings and all — to getting a wedding dress, with few below the $3,000 price tag and some going as high as $15,000. According to Donie, “For the cost of one of my dresses, I could go for a nice week-long trip to Europe.”

What Are the Jewelry Rules in Ballroom Dancing?

Of course, no look would be complete without matching and eye-catching jewelry, which can cost around $250 per competition. Flashy earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are a traditional component of ballroom dance fashion, as well as accessories such as dancing underwear, gloves, hairpieces, headpieces, and belts.

Do You Need to Tan for Ballroom Dancing?

Tanning can also cost hundreds of dollars, according to the Dancing Queens cast. Dancers are expected to sport an even, dark color, especially in Latin ballroom dancing, the category in which the women of Dancing Queens compete. Products could include tanning makeup, powders, sprays, and bronzers.

“When you arrive at the competition, it’s like this fantasy world of getting to be a different type of person,” Donie told producers in the Dancing Queens premiere.

Watch the women take fashion and beauty onto the dance floor in new episodes of Dancing Queens, airing Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo, with episodes available for streaming the next day on Peacock.

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